View Full Version : Ost-en-Ernil, The Castle of the Prince

30/Nov/2009, 07:41 AM
Ost-en-Ernil(The Castle of the Prince)

"And last and proudest , Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came."¹
* * * * *
What is Ost-en-Ernil?
Ost-En-Ernil is castle and household of Prince Imrahil, comprising of his private residence and also the main garrison of Dol Amroth.The garrison of Ost-En-Ernil (home to the Swan Knights of Dol Amroth) is housed within the towers that enclose the castle's twin baileys.Court life at the Prince's Castle is a cycle of entertainments, hunts, and tourneys. Quests, battles against raiding Corsairs and military expeditions in the Prince's service punctuate the Court's pleasures. While waves crash against the cliffs below, the Prince and his nobles feast, toasting one another's heroics with their bejewlled, golden goblets. Knights and their ladies dance in the Great Hall to the melodies of the finest harpers in Gondor. Heroes rise to propose quests to far lands, and challenge one another to joust at forthcoming tourneys, no wonder that even the other Dúnedain find the Prince's Court remarkebly "Elvish."
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v672/Pellaadarion/Imrahil.gifPrince Imrahil
Who can play in Ost-en-Ernil?
This thread is the doman of the player who holds the Special Character Rank (SCR) of Imrahil. This player plays a key part within this thread, as Ost-En-Ernil is the Castle of Prince Imrahil and most events revolve around his noble court. Any player may visit the Prince's noble court in Ost-en-Ernil, as long as they roleplay a character who is one of the southern Dúnedain. Players might also appear as one of the Prince's men-at-arms, entertainers or servants. Players might also appear as the general citizenry of Dol Amroth, whether nobles, merchants, craftsmen or peasants. Should you wish to roleplay as a Swan Knight of Dol Amroth, you must use a character who is a one of the southern Dúnedain noblemen of Belfalas. Swan Knights subscribe to standard ideas of attitude and appearance; find out more by reading the Dol Amroth Roleplaying Guide!
Noble Houses of Belfalas
House Imrazôr: Prince Imrahil: Castle Ost-en-Ernil, Dol AmrothHouse Tavor: Lord Thurindir: Castle Cirith DunrandirHouse Morthoron: Lord Orodreth: Castle AmrúnaurHouse ?: Lord Arvaldon (deceased): Castle ?House Maladros: Lord Marrick: Castle ?
Swan Knights of Dol AmrothSir Thurindir Tavor (Pellaadarion)Sir Angrod Morthoron (Arohir)Sir Arohir MorthoronSir Dale Orin (Aramir)Sir Arvaldon (deceased)Sir Marrick MaladrosEsquires of Dol AmrothUmbak Maldathar
Click here to visit the Dol Amroth Roleplaying Guide
Hints and Tips- In Character posts only please.- Posts over 300 characters preferred.- Post in black. (Imrahil and his knights may post in purple.)
1. Tolkien, J.R.R.,The Return of the King; Minas Tirith, p.754

02/Dec/2009, 03:40 PM
The cobbled street winds ever upwards, starting in the heavily fortified quarter of 'Gate-Town', where it adjoins the King's Road which leads outwards and to the east. It slices through the 'Old-Town', past ancient stone town-houses and the lofty towers of the noble families of old. Up it creeps through the Cliffs, back and forth so as to climb the rocky ledges of The Hill without overly fatiguing the weary traveller.The street narrows here, and men may only walk two abreast, it is too narrow for carts and wagons, and goods must be transported the final distances by hand-cart and by muleteer.Continuing onward, the traveller passes guesthouses, inns and the famousHawk and Hound, respected drinking hall and second only to theInn of the Blue Heronin renown. Eventually the cobbled street reaches the outer wall of Ost-en-Ernil; the Prince's Palace, home to Imrahil and his household knights.
The outer-bailey is well defended, with high white walls manned by many men-at-arms, but still only a sprinkling of the three hundreds available to the prince's call from the garrison within; not counting the prince's yeomen and knights! The occasional knight of the swan can be seen pacing the defences, tall and noble warriors, dark of hair and eye and clad in shining mail and great winged helms. Many a vagrant and commoner finds himself turned away at this point, for the hour grows late, the skies darken and a shadow looms in the eastern lands of Mordor. Threats creep northward from Umbar also, spies from the City of the Corsair, and agents of Harad. And yet, travellers who bring news of foreign lands are often welcomed, for the prince always wishes to learn of tales from beyond his borders.
For those who gain admittance, they might pass through the outer bailey and into the inner-sanctum, walking through the guardhouse and across the bridge to the castle proper, where they might attend an audience with Imrahil and his court, and enjoy the fabled hospitality of the Southern Dúnedain! Woe betide the intruder or interloper, who if discovered might be tossed from the cliffs to dash upon the rocks a thousand feet below!
Within Ost-en-Ernil, a great feast has been laid out in the prince's court. Seated around a huge table there are many of the prince's household knights, young noblemen who live within the citadel of Dol Amroth and serve the prince directly. They are identified by the sigil of a ship and swan upon their vestments. Elsewhere there is the occasional lord, who are knights also, but of greater esteem; land-owners with grand estates outwith the city proper, where they guard the borders of Dor-en-Ernil from their modest castles and manors. Many of these lords wear the sigil of ship and swan also, but alongside their own family crest which they value more highly. Some, like Thurindir of Cirith Dúrandir can trace their anscentry back to the very fall of Númenor! These Southern Dúnedain are respected highly in Belfalas, for they retain many of the traits of the original Númenoreans, for they are tall, fair and long of life.
It is a time of celebration, for a great victory has been won. The Swan Knights, under Imrahil's command, have recently returned from the Crossings of the Poros, having ridden forth to lend aid to a beleaguered Gondorian garrison and halt an advancing party of some six hundreds of southron way-farers, swift riders from Harad who looked to make for Pelargir, or perhaps Minas Tirith.
Tasks- Develop your swan knight characters and enjoy the feast whilst recounting the recentBattle of the Poros. Soon Imrahil might rise and deliver a toast to the 'Heroes of the Poros'.</span>

03/Dec/2009, 09:01 PM
Arohir walked into the hall, clad in the raiment of a Swan Knight. It was good to be back from the fight at the Crossings of the Poros, for now he was in clean clothing that did not reek of sweat and the blood of battle, it was by far not his first, nor was it his last, he hoped. Tonight would be a most excellent evening, though he was saddened that more than a few would not be able to join them for having fallen in the fight. However, he would not let that bother him enough to celebrate those who lived, for it is what they trained for, to fight well for their Prince.

He was not among the tallest of knights, nor among the shortest, but he was stocky, dark of hair and gray of eye. Like those of the household knights, he wore the blue and silver of Prince Imrahil, the swan ship emblazoned upon the tunic. His father, Orodreth, was surely in the banquet hall, though not in the same livery, but wearing silver with a black eagle, the sigil of their house, though no doubt with the badge of the Prince to show fealty. Aro would be wearing similar, but with his father at the familial estate of Amrunaur, he was needed to sharpen his skills of court politics, war, and other things that would benefit him.

After taking his seat at the table, he espied his father sitting among the more prestigious lords. His house was one of the older ones, but the glory of that rested mainly with Orodreth for a few decades more, for at 80 he was a healthy and robust man, the old blood of Numenor ran strong in the family, and it showed in both father and son.

Edited by: Arohir

04/Dec/2009, 04:04 AM
Sir Dale Orin was not a man for festivities, to put it simply.

But he tolerated them because it was expected of him. Duty was the star that he followed in this world and it had never led him astray yet. And although it was not an official order to attend feasts or festivities, he understood that his presence reflected his station and reflected upon the Prince. And that is why he came. Fun, if he could allow himself any of that, would just be a convenient side effect.

But after the campaign and the fierce engagements they had had with the South-men, a bit of hearty food and maybe even a little wine would do his body good after several days of field rations. Once he had entered and made the appropriate introductions to the appropriate people, he had sat himself at the table and waited until he might be asked upon or needed elsewhere. And even if he sat in the same spot until the guest departed and said nothing to anyone, that was acceptable.

At home, he knew his wife would likely not wait up for him. Caring for their newborn son, Dell, was her life now, a duty that she carried as he carried his knighthood. He wondered, just for a brief moment, about love, and whether he had ever felt it for his wife or if she had ever felt it for him, but he quickly cast those thoughts out of his head as he raised his cup to his lips and observed the room around him.

04/Dec/2009, 01:59 PM
'Sir Arohir!' Thurindir Tavor cried loudly from the lords' table, startling the musicians who sat nearby, causing one to break a string upon his lute.</font>
</font>Sir Thurindir Tavor. He was Lord Tavor in reality, a lord as well as a knight; commanding the castle of Cirith Dunrandir, which watched over the narrow mountain pass in the southern spur of the Ered Nimrais. He was tall and hale, dark of hair and eye, and sixty-six years of age, still young for a man of pure Dúnedain blood!</font>
</font>The tall knight crossed the room, resplendent in a deep green tunic with shining silver buttons. Upon the left breast was engraved the sigil of swan and ship in delicate silver filigree, whilst upon his right breast, was the sigil of his house Tavor, a woodpecker, bright and sparkling in gold thread, with tiny rubies for eyes. His belt was broad and of the finest leather, buckled over a pair of light woolen leggings, tucked into tall riding boots which glimmered with a mirror-sheen. Like many of the old Lords, he could trace his family back to the very fall of Númenor.</font>
</font>'Hello to you young knight,' Thurindir grinned as he sat, 'I tire of talk with old dogs like your father, already they speak of the growing storm, the endless dark, not content to make merry whilst the glory of the Poros is still upon us!'</font>
</font>He slammed his calloused fist upon the table heavily, a resounding thud accompanied by the clatter of silver-ware. The serving boys moved quickly, placing shining silver goblets of fine wine before the two knights.</font>
</font>Thurindir ignored the the dour-faced Sir Orin, knowing him to be a sour-puss who cared little for glory and ale!</font>

Edited by: Pellaadarion

04/Dec/2009, 06:04 PM
Arohir turned as he heard his name called. The man who called him was Lord Thurindir. He was rather shocked to find a lord who would leave the far superior table of the lords, which would surely get the best food the soonest after the Prince's. The man was only seventeen years his senior, yet held more as much power as his father.

</font>"Greeting as well to you, Lord Thurindir. I am sure, for even if a shadow rises, we have tomorrow to handle it." He jumped a little when the lord called for some wine, which was promptly provided for the two of them. It appeared to be a good wine, no doubt from Belfalas, but he wondered why himself was being chosen to be spoken to, he had not exactly been a terribly notable factor in the Poros, carrying out the charge like the rest of them, as well as doing well enough to keep his head in the melee that ensued. But he would worry later, for now he said, "What do we drink to then?" The grey eyed knight said.</font>

04/Dec/2009, 11:02 PM
(Dour-faced sour-puss? http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/smileys/smiley3.gif)

"To duty," thought Dale in his own mind as he lifted his own glass. But no one would drink to duty. It wasn't something most people celebrated while toasting. Instead, he said aloud, butting in and suggest, "To health, wealth, and good fortune?" It was a toast he had heard before among jollier men, and one that he felt was appropriate in any setting.

Lord Tavor responded with some remark, which he did not hear as another group got loud beside him, but he put his cup to his lips and drank with the other as he saw them do it. While he didn't appreciate that the Lord dismissed "the growing storm" and "the endless dark," both of which were very real threats on the horizon that did need to be taken seriously, perhaps such musing was best left outside the short window of the celebration.

"You did your father proud during the campaign, Sir Arohir,"he said to his fellow knight. "The ferocity at which your batalion fought to rejoin my own after we were separated pursuing the South-men back across the river was a welcome site." Dale hadn't been keen of the idea of chasing the enemy into their own territory and rightly so, for their opponents soon regrouped with reinforcements and turned to push the Swan Knights back themselves during the fourth evening of the engagement. And while they were far from needing to be saved, the tactical move by the other groups allowed them to get the upper hand on their foes early. As his own group retreated, the others were able to catch the South-men at a disadvantage and had at their flank - covering the retreat as well as tearing a hole in the enemy numbers early.

Uriphel Imrathor
05/Dec/2009, 05:01 PM
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Umbak Maldathar- Esquire of Dol Amroth
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Despite being the second born son of a respected noble, Umbak was a little surprised to be arriving at the feast given the current situtation of things. His late father had been only a minor noble, but his actions had made he and his sons well known in the city. Everyone in the city knew who he was, or at least could figure out who he was upon running intohim on the streets. His warm brown eyes, inherited from his mother, a woman whose family originally hailed from Harad gave away that Umbak was not of pure Southern Dunedain blood.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">His elder brother, the son of his father's first wife, a native noblewoman had only recently ejected his mother from the Maldathar home. No one of course had stopped his brother since most of the nobles distrusted Uriphel, and those who did like her weren't likely to speak up for her afraid they'd be accused of some sort of treason.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">This recenteventwas something being talked about all over town, and Umbak despite only being back in town for 24 hours,was already well aware of what had transpired during his absense. He had followed Lord Arvaldon the swan knight to whom he'd pledged his loyalty 4 years previous, into the Battle of Poros. The knights had won the victory against the south-men, however Arvaldon had been slain in the battle leaving Umbak's future with the knights uncertain.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">He'd returned to Dol Amroth with the company of knights, and had truly thought thathis service in to theprinceand his homelandwere at an end. He knew that many in the city were prejudice against him and had thought Arvaldon mad for taking him into his service, but there were others who had been more tolerant of his heritage. The young man had resigned himself to living out the rest of his days as a fisherman after a few hours back in the city, but then he'd recieved the invatation to join the feast.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">He had a sense of duty and honor instilled within him by his father, and had always wanted to serve his land as his father had done, however due to his birth order and parentage he'd thought serving with the knights to be out of the question. But he'd found a kindred spirit in Arvaldon and had been able to join the knights as an Esquire. Perhaps over the last four years, he had proventhis loyalty to the right people and was being given the opprotunity to continue in said service if he so chose to do so.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">The young man pushed open the doors and stepped iside the halls of Ost-en-Ermil dressed in ablue and silver the color of Prince Imrahil, to whom he owed allegiance.Unlike others he wore no emblem of a noble house, though he was born to one. His elder brother may very well be present at the event as well, and Umbak had no desire to causesome kind of uproarin the middle of the Prince's Hall. He smiled at the knights within the room some shooting him curious glances others simply ignoring his presence, a few returning his smile with a nod before hetook a seat at one of the tables.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">As some oftheknights proposed a toast, Umbak took up his own cup and nodded respectfully to Sir Orin, "I'd say that's quite fitting, sir." He tilted his glass and took a swallow, flahsing his bright smile to those around the room.
<DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">Edited by: Alfhild

06/Dec/2009, 11:44 PM
Arohir listened as Dale spoke of the battle, "You also did well, Sir Dale, for all pieces of that conflict were nigh equal in value, your group held them down as we helped finish them off. If I have learned anything in my 49 years of life, a knight does his family proud by not only not dying, but also living with honor. But I will surely drink to your toast, for with those three we may at least take some comfort!" He raised the chalice and drank a bit of the wine, which was relatively sweet, the gift of the Belfalasian vine, which he thought could rival that of Dorwinion!

A squire had raised his glass also to join in the toast. It seemed that the man had an appearance of one who was of the Haradrim. However, he cared little for that fact, for if one was in the Swan Knights, they truly had stock in the Principality, be it land or at least vested family interest, for unlike other forces, the Swans really were defending their livelihoods and title. If the kingdom fell, peasants would surely remain, but those in power are often loathe to give it up, and should the Principality or Kingdom fall, they would all surely lose what power they had!

Responding to the squire he said, "Squire, you are unfamiliar to me, what is your name and what knight do you serve under?"

07/Dec/2009, 02:09 PM
'One of Arvaldon's men,' Thurindir intoned loudly, speaking to Sir Arohir before Umbak had a chance to reply, and caring little for Malthadar's presence, 'Sir Arvaldon who fell at the Poros. A shame, for that knight was worth a thousand of those riders from Harad.'</font>

</font>The tall lord looking coldly upon Umbak, choosing his next words carefully,</font>
</font>'Beggards and cowards,' Thurindir spat,' the lot of them.'</font>
</font>He looked away, and speared a duck's breast with his silvered fork, as he bit into it, the honeyed-glaze dribbled down his clean-shaven face and stained the silvered banner of the swan and ship. The golden woodpecker on the right breast remained unsullied...</font>

07/Dec/2009, 04:20 PM
"Apparently not," Dale thought to himself of Thurindir's comment about Arvaldon being worth 1,000 Haradrim, for less than that had felled him in the battle. True, Arvaldon had been a good knight and a strong fighter, but even in the end he couldn't cheat death forever, a fate that would someday collect on all their heads.

He disagreed with Thurindir's other comment as well, but said nothing and stayed focused on his food. While hate might make a man fight twice as hard during the battle, it clouded his mind and would lead him to irrational acts. Maybe not that day and maybe not the day after, but eventually that attitude would open a gaping hole that the enemy would pierce.

Dale was of another mind. While he of course wouldn't laud his enemy, he respected their ability in battle. There was something to be said about honoring your opponents ability. Men didn't war for fun, he knew. There were political, economic and cultural differences that fueled those fires. Men did not engage in war unless their was something to be gained from it. And although some, maybe all, of those tribes of men had fallen under the false promises of the Dark Lord, even they did not warrant senseless hate.

"Arvaldon fought hard to the last stroke," he said. "A good and honorable man, that one. Let us praise his service and not curse our enemy. He fulfilled his oath to the very end and a knight who gives his life for his Lord should be celebrated. Let us hope we may all be so lucky to serve as well," he said and gave a nod to the squire, who had been put in a hot spot. It was a hard time for them all, losing a brother in arms like that, but no doubt even harder for the knight-in-waiting.

07/Dec/2009, 07:04 PM
Arohir listened as Lord Tavor explained the situation regarding the squire's current status of relative unemployment. While he was the heir to Amrunaur, he did not really have the authority to grab up a squire, no doubt his father would want him to have one from a more prestigious family, therefore creating a tie, though not as strong as one from marriage, but the relationship between knight and squire was one strong enough to influence that squire later in life, especially the philosophy of how life is to be lived, but especially politics, which was crucial in every part of noble life.

"Sir Dale is correct, Lord Arvaldon did the Prince proud, but today we must not spend so much time focusing on those who have fallen, but celebrating those who live. For we do not have the eternal lives of elves, so we must pass in time, where we go I am not fully aware, but I am sure it is a place better than here!" Seeing Thurindir begin eating from a duck, Aro was quick to acquire a piece of boar loin, which had been slowly roasted among apples, adding a complementary flavor to boar's neutral flavoring. Aro did notice that there were few ladies or any other guests of interest, though hopefully they would arrive later, for music without dancing was acceptable, and one could only talk about the Poros for so long.

Uriphel Imrathor
08/Dec/2009, 09:34 AM
Umbak was soon questioned by one of the knights as to his name and allegiance. He'd not seen this knight Arohir before which was not completely impossible. If a knight was not generally familiar with his father or with Arvaldon it wasn't likely that Umbak would know them. Most of the nobility were in the faction of simply ignoring him alltogether. And then there were those that were ah openly hostile.

He noted that Thurindir was quite displeased that he was at the feast that evening. Not that he was surprised that Lord Thurindir had backhandedly called him a coward, the man had made it quite clear from their first encounter that he no way cared for the youngest son of Baranir Maldathar. It was an awkward situation and other men might have begun to squirm about in their seat, but Umbak kept his composure. After 24 years, comments like Thurundir didn't pahze him all that much any longer. He tended to simply ignore them.

That did not mean he was not grateful for Sir Orin's words. Sir Orin was one of those rare nobles that didn't seem to mind his Haradrim descent. The man seemed to have an open mind and the tendency to respect those that he met regardless of descent or rank within society. In this, Sir Orin reminded the squire of hs fallen lord. Arvaldon had been open to his heritage and had seen Umbak's deep desire to protect and serve his home. He nodded his head in agreement with both Orin, Arohir and yes even Thurundir's comments about his friend. "Aye, Lord Arvaldon was a fine lord and knight. It was truly an honor to serve under such an honorable man these past four years."

The sailor reached across the table and grabbed some fresh fish for his dinner. It felt good to be home again whether it was glad to have him back or no. He took a bite of his food and smiled. "We've hadfine wheather today. I do hope it holds for I'm itching to get back upon the open seas. I deem this wheather's been about for a few days though by the quality of this fish. I'm thinking maybe I'll just sail down to Edhelond. I do love the folk there, fine folk the lot of them." Umbak not only loved the elven ruins mystique, but the seafaring folk that dwelt there had a love for stories, which rivaled even his own.

Naith Liathant
09/Dec/2009, 12:59 PM
" Ah to sail to Edhellond, would that I could now I am head of my house." Rued Sir Marrick Maladros. He swept back his jet black hair and raised his tankard, quaffing a huge draft of ale before replenishing his cup. " Beggars and cowards, all, eh Thurindir, my friend? A craven cur is a Corsair, and a low born rat is a Haradrim sellsword." He knocked back another tide of ale, draining his tankard again. " Lets hear a little less of this Lord Arvaldon though, it was not only he who died for the King's fiefs! My own father is dead, and I'll toast to Lord Mortigern Maladros, a truly great man, without whom..." He belched. " Forget that, but a great man! Let his name not fade into the dusty annals of some mouldy old book! Remember him, my fellows. For the world is a darker place without his light." He raised a finger and slammed down his tankard with his left hand. " Mark my words though, House Maladros shall flourish! The holdings and the estate are mine now, and I shall be a beacon of hope to ..." he paused and eyed up the men at the table, his azure eyes a brilliant hue. He took a deep breath and a swig of ale. " A beacon of hope to the young ladies of the court! For it falls to me to ensure that the Raven of House Maladros continues to fly! It is a weighty responsibility, but I swear I shall try not to feel too greatly the burden of it..." He laughed as the others seemed to be scrutinizing him. " Why so glum, let us celebrate together!"

09/Dec/2009, 02:24 PM
And so Sir Marrick had indeed lost his father at the Poros, where the old lord had fallen alongside Sir Arvaldon, victims of the Haradrim cavalry who had slain many of the Dagarim Arandur, and a small number of Swan Knights whilst retreating from the Gondorian fort of Tir Ethraid. And yet, unlike the mixed-blood Esquire, Umbak Maldathar, Sir Marrick grief seemed lessened by the news that he was to assume control of his father's house; Lord of House Maladros he would be named; no doubt by the Prince Imrahil when he finally made an appearance.</font>
</font>Such a story struck a chord with Sir Thurindir, Lord of House Tavor; for he had also assumed control of his house after his father's untimely death.</font>

* * *
Thurindir's face darkened, his mind harkening back to the year 2994 of the Third Age, and the frozen hills around Castle Cirith Dunrandir. It was the day of his forty-fourth birthday, not an occasion of particular note. Nonetheless, the senior Lord Tavor had insisted on a hunt, as he did on every possible occasion. The guardsmen had rued the request, forced as they were to recruit beaters from amongst the surrounding populace of farmhands and woodsmen. These local peasants would be welcome for the work during this dark winter months, but days of snowfall made for poor hunting, and the risk of accident was high.
And so when that great bear had appeared, all the party had remained still, in awe of it's shaggy grey fur and viscious claws and teeth.
'A bear in winter,' the guard-captain had murmured in awe, 'this makes no sense Lord Tavor!'
And yet the old Lord had willed him to silent, and instructed the rest of their entourage to remain behind whilst he rode forward with Thurindir and his elder brother. The old Lord Tavor's pride was without measure, and Thurindir had known he might not pass up the chance to hang such a head upon his the wall of his study in the bowels of Castle Cirith Dunrandir.
The three nobles rode forward, the three most senior members of House Tavor, chasing that great, grey bear as it had fled into the undergrowth.
The guard-captain had listened to the great roars and growls, the cries of pain and agony. When Thurindir emerged he had emerged alone; sole survivor of the encounter and inheritant of House Tavor...
* * *
'Why so glum, let us celebrate together!' Sir Marrick cried, rousing Sir Thurindir from his daydream.</font>
</font>'And why not Sir Marrick!' Thurindir replied amiably, raising his silver goblet in salute to the young Lord, 'To the glory of Belfalas, to the glory of House Tavor and House Maladros!'</font>

Alaron Alcadir
11/Dec/2009, 01:08 PM
"To the glory of Belfalas, to the glory of House Tavor and House Maladros!"

Ore winced and buried his face in his goblet as Lord Tavor's voice rang
across out the hall. "Insufferable old fool." He murmured under his
breath. The man's overbearing nature had never failed to make Ore
uncomfortable, but here and now, after the Battle and during these
awful festivities, it seemed particularly loathsome.

It was Sir Marrick's attitude that especially galled him, however. The
young Knight was younger than even Ore and he had thought to see the
man devastated after his father's death. Yet here he was, making merry,
celebrating his imminent Lordship and his father's death. "So much for
filial piety." He whispered again.

"Do sit up straight, Sir Oreinion! It's most unseemly to crouch over
your wine like some vulgar peasant and mutter! Sit up, I say." Glancing
to his side, Ore caught his Esquire's glare and sighed. Setting the
empty goblet on the table, he sat up straight. Light glinted off the
tiny diamonds that stood for the stars in the night sky on the right
side of his vest, as part of the sigil for House Alcarin. A single,
rather larger, diamond - the orb of Alcarinquë - shone from the center
of the black patch, with a swan in silver sewn atop that. On the left,
of course, was the swan and ship of the Prince.

"Have a care, my dear Heloven." Ore turned to speak to his Esquire.
"You serve me, not the other way around. Brothers-in-arms we might be
on the battlefield and at home, but this is the Prince's castle and we
are in very particular company. Heed your own advice, eh? Watch your
tongue." Heloven coloured and nodded stiffly, glaring at Ore. Ore
smiled very slightly and looked away.

Baiting his Esquire was always fun, but on this day, nothing seemed to
amuse him. The Battle weighed heavily on his mind. It had been his
first campaign and by the Valar, he wished it could be his last. He had
seen enough bloodshed for one lifetime. It might have been a victory
for Gondor, but as far as Ore was concerned, there had been no glory in
that victory. Only relief, one as hard and cold as death. It was, he
felt, only a pause in a greater struggle - a pause bought by the lives
of hundreds of men.

Ore sighed. One thing had been made certain, at least. Sir Oreinion
Alcarin, grandson of the great war-hero, was, at his heart, no warrior.


15/Dec/2009, 01:08 PM
Dale raised his glass and drank with the others, but kept quiet. He didn't particularly relish praising noble houses. While he meant no offense to his brethren, he had seen the squabbling, manipulation and politic of nobles cause more than one problem within his lifetime.

And furthermore, he was not one. While it was rare for a man of common birth to rise to knighthood, it was not impossible as he had shown. His years of dutiful, professional service in the guard had eventually caught the notice of his superiors. His rise to knighthood was mostly uneventful and unexciting. He had not saved the Prince's life or performed some spectacular feats of bravery in the field. He had served and served long and well. Every army needed an efficient, effective soldier and arbiter. And that had been his role and he played it well.

"Did anyone else notice that these Haradrim seemed more," he looked for the word, "Organized?"

18/Dec/2009, 08:24 PM
Arohir listened as Lord Marick and Lord Thurindir spoke of their houses. Those two were probably some of the younger lords, for even the head of Aro's household, his father Orodreth, at 80 years of age, had just recently taken his lordship a couple of years ago with the passing of his father, Arohir's grandfather, Indilzar from a skirmish with hill folk, for their castle at Amrunaur helped watch the eastern part of the same pass that Lord Thurindir held the west of, and some hill men were not pleased to have Dunedain rule over them.

His musing on the youth of the lords, though they be by unfortunate means, was cut short by the observation of Sir Dale, "You are right, though that banner, the black serpent on red, I have never seen before, maybe it is a new chieftain who has taken control? If he is able to control his people with an iron fist and any military experience, possibly even against people farther south, he may have a grasp for tactics. If we had more information it would be ideal, but I know not of what intelligence has been gathered. I doubt Prince Imrahil is unaware of their tactics, but the Dagarim Arandur should hold strong, for while we are fine warriors mounted or afoot, we are but few in number compared to the Steward's army, or the armies of the other Lords combined."

Alaron Alcadir
19/Dec/2009, 09:27 AM
The quiet words from Sir Orin lifted Ore from his self-absorbed brooding. He turned to look at the commoner knight, an object rare enough among the Swans for him to be worthy of some attention. Ore did not know the man very well, but he knew he had a reputation for steadfastness. Whatever kind of man Dale Orin may have been, his words caught Ore's ears readily enough.

Before he could question exactly what Sir Orin meant, Sir Morthoron spoke up. Ore listened quietly to what the man had to say, his mouth twisting as he did so. Sir Morthoron's words were almost a bait to the likes of Tavor. Any moment now the old fool would roar out that the Swans were far better than the Dagarim Arandur or any other Lords' armies, numbers notwithstanding. Before Tavor could do so, Ore decided to speak up and ask what was on his mind.

"Sir Orin." He called out to the older man. "You will excuse my ignorance in these matters. I am only a novice among the Knights and my experience of war has been limited to this Battle we now celebrate. Pray tell me, what do you mean by more "organized"? Have their prowess in battle improved somehow? Do they wield the blade with more skill or more courage?"

If it was simply what Sir Morthoron had intimated and was a case of a warlord consolidating his forces, it would be bad enough. But there were rumours afloat that spoke of darker things. Ore kept abreast of these, even knowing the penchant of all common folk to exaggerate and see omens everywhere. There had long been talk of a "darkness" even among the nobility. Though none spoke the name, Ore knew whom and what they meant. The spectre of Mordor cast a grim shadow over all of Gondor.

12/Jan/2010, 11:14 AM
Dale had feared the same that Arohir had mentioned - that a new leader might have enough sway to bring the varied clans of the South to create a stronger, unified force. If a new strong force was rising, Dol Amroth would need to keep a close eye on the sea as well as through their contacts on land.

"Well," he said to Ore, who asked about what he had meant about the enemy being more organized, "Their soldiers seemed more competent in combat than they have in the past. Where before they fought more like a disorderly rabble, their tactics and coordination on the field seemed more ... professional. If it's true that their armies are gaining better instruction and employing more devious strategies, they could become a very dangerous foe."

18/Jan/2010, 07:37 PM
'An alliance?' Thurindir rumbled, stroking his chin thoughtfully, despite his scorn the idea troubled him. Breaking the Southrons at the Poros had been more difficult than the Lord would care to admit.

Alaron Alcadir
24/Jan/2010, 12:12 PM
Ore nodded, not entirely satisfied. It did not prove anything one way or the other. The better strategies and tactics could be the result of an alliance or of some charismatic warlord taking control or...of a Dark Lord from legends risen from the dead to threaten the world again. Here, amid the chatter of Men and the tinkle of glasses, that truly felt like some fevered dream or the foolish prattlings of old women, but Ore knew better.

He glanced at Sir Thurindir as the notion of an alliance seemed to soak through even his arrogant self-absorption. Good. Perhaps a military threat even greater than the one they had faced would temper his confidence. The House of Tavor was strong and high in the Prince's counsel. It would be well if Sir Thurindir realized that and used it to the benefit of all of the Dor-en-Ernil.

Ore sighed. That was a vain and naive hope, he knew. Perhaps he would do better to speak with his grandfather. Though the old man seldom left his quarters anymore, he was still the same man who had won the lordship for the Alcarin and his mind and his tongue were as sharp as ever.

He sipped at his wine, retreating to his thoughts once more.

16/Feb/2010, 03:38 AM

</font>See </font>HERE</font> </font> (http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=237178)for the new thread.</font>